Archive for March, 2007

March 24, 2007

Teaching an old dog new tricks

Okay – that might be a little unfair – but lately – I’ve been thinking about how things I was sure of have changed. It started when I discovered (courtesy of a niece) that dinosaurs weren’t really cold blooded. Ouch – I learned that so long ago, it’s a bit hard to imagine scientists being that wrong – but they were.

My dad had a terrific brain – but it many ways – he remembered best what he learned first – so – his standard for manners, or for behavior at weddings, or the way you should hold a pen – those never really changed. There was a LOT about that that I liked – dad was sure, he knew his place in the world, and how to move through it. It made him solid, reliable, dependable. And yet – things (like the dinosaurs) do change – and I want to be a bit of both – warm blooded, but knowing what I know, if you get what I mean.

For instance, I learned that skiing technology has changed so much in the last 10 years, that they are teaching in a whole new way. And I’m also getting ready for my first triathlon – and while I’m confident that I’m up to date on how to run and cycle – my swimming skills are pretty dated.

Bi-lateral breathing? Right. I look like a beached whale trying to roll over on my right side to breathe out of the left. Glide? Hmm. Constant stroke pattern? Hmm. I sent a note to my twin, who knows a lot more about swimming than I do – and I included an article from a guy who is trying to debunk the elongate and glide method – and my twin didn’t agree. So – is my twin the dinosaur? I don’t know – I’ll have to do a bit more research, that’s for sure – but you can see what I’m getting at – how do I draw a line (should I draw a line?) about what I know, how I learn, when I change my mind?

It’s certainly not black and white, although in the world today – people seem to want that a lot. It’s okay to change your mind about a relationship – but you can’t change your mind about a congressional vote from 20 years ago!

So – in the meantime – I’ll keep running, I’ll get to the pool and try to gain some efficiency – and I’ll look for a nice balance between clinging to what I know and grasping for only new things.

March 18, 2007

Practice Makes – well – Improvement

My brother and I clocked 10 miles today at a 7:40 pace or so – not bad – particularly when you consider that we’ve been running about that speed for 15 years. It’s not quite as easy as it used to be, but it isn’t really that hard, either. Take a couple of guys who enjoy fitness, add in a long history of running, mix with a lot of determination, and some great conversation – and a 10 mile run passes pretty quickly. Like an hour and 15 minutes or so.
So – we might not be breaking any records these days – and we didn’t back in the day, either. But we’re headed in the right direction – we’re pursuing fitness and good company, just like we always have. Don’t wait – my brother and I can run 10 miles on any given Sunday because it is a part of our story. Maybe your story is cycling, or climbing, or weight lifting or volleyball, or – you name it. Go after it.
March 14, 2007

Dam Run

Okay, that’s not quite fair. But I was visiting my mom in the Bay Area this weekend, and had the opportunity to run around the Lexington Dam – it was a beautiful 12.25 mile loop that included challenging hills, beautiful views, and a fast downhill finish – all made better by having my girl and my sister riding shotgun on their bikes!

I’m amused – because as I ran around the dam – all of the signs called it "Lexington Lake" – a clear re-branding effort that seems to have taken hold. The last time I spend any time at all on the "lake" was when a high school buddy and I took beer and a canoe (in that order, I’m afraid) out for a spin. If you catch me in person, I’ll let you know what happens after a few beers, when nature calls, and the boat starts to tip – if you have to let go of SOMETHING – what exactly will it be?)

But I digress. It was just a water shed meets percolation pond meets water over flow device, not a lake. There weren’t many houses, recreation activities or much else – but that sure has changed. And, despite the re-branding – I think changed for the better!

We started in downtown Los Gatos (at a baseball field aptly named "Balzer Field" and ran up the hill to the dam proper. My sister and my girl took a bit more time up the hill (which made me remember the time I passed a cyclist here in Seattle, on the way up a hill. I’d meant to let her know, as I passed, that it was just because she was carrying a bike up the hill, and I wasn’t – but what came out was "I’m not as heavy as you!" I stopped and apologized, naturally.

In any case – the "lake" loops up and around the reservoir, and near the end swoops back down toward the finish – provided, of course, that you know NOT to get in HWY 17 – and comes screaming back down hill towards Los Gatos.

It was terrific – my longest run of the year, with great company, and then home for lunch with my mom and my girl to finish. Hard to beat!